Let’s Talk about Death

When a parent dies of suicide

Judey Kalchik


Rev. Peter Foley, photo property of the author

Valentine weekend isn’t always sweetness, light, and lacy hearts for everyone. The expectation of fluffy lovey-doviness can do a number on a person and dredge up fountains of grief. For me, the grief is missing what once was.

The photo above is my very first Valentine. The man that was at the seat of every joy and misery of my life for my first 19 years, my father.

In the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2007 he died of a self-inflicted gunshot.




It changed…. it changed EVERYTHING and at the same time changed nothing.

• I never understood him and now I never would.

• I was never sure he approved of me and now I’ll never know.

• I had hoped time would heal our relationship and now I’ll never find out.

• I thought someday the five of us, me and my brothers and sisters, would meet again and find our way. That hope is so small now I’m afraid to look at it too closely for fear the flame will extinguish.

His suicide is not about me- I no longer wonder why his wife and children (and grandchildren, and eventual great-grandchildren weren’t a reason for him…



Judey Kalchik

I write the truth as I see it. Twice a Top Writer. Follow me to see my writing on your homepage, subscribe for free and get an email when new content appears!